Ring-billed Gull at Achmelvich

June 10th 2011

Ring-billed Gull at Achmelvich

A first summer Ring-billed Gull, Larus delawarensis, was spotted at Achmelvich on the 6th June 2011, and it seems content to hang around with the Common Gulls on the machair.

First seen by Simon Cohen, the photograph here was taken on 10th June by David Haines.

Although this gull species has been recorded in Assynt previously this is the third North American bird species here in four weeks. Maybe there has been some bad weather over there.

At more-or-less the same time local birdwatchers got excited and thought we had another rare gull. It turned out to be an albino Kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla, which itself seems to be very uncommon.

The bird was seen and photographed by David Haines at Rubh’an Dunain on 7th June 2011.

There are many records of albino Herring gulls and other gulls but no one is coming up with Kittiwake – from Fife’s BTO regional organiser to the Curator of Birds at the National Museums of Scotland.

More on these two gulls and other North American visitors to Assynt in this news story ‘Gulls Galore’ on our website.

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Recent Sightings


Single bird hovering between road and waterfall, Clashnessie (Neil McCrimmon) (26/11)

Fieldfare and Redwing

A mixed flock of c30 fieldfare and c10 redwing in tall aspens, Nedd (Ian Evans). Mixed flock of 200+ birds over Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (23/11)


Single bird by River Inver, Brackloch (Carol Langford) (22/11)


Single hen bird in back garden, Nedd (Ian Evans).  Rarely seen in this part of Assynt (21/11)

Great Northern Diver

Single bird, Bay of Stoer (John Gilbertson) (21/11)

Redwing and Fieldfare

c80 birds in a mixed flock flying over the B869 by Rhicarn (Richard Chappell and Ennis Jones) (20/11)


Single bird in tree overhanging river Inver, Little Assynt (Richard Chappell and Ennis Jones) (20/11)


Single bird hovering by roadside, Inchnadamph (Richard Chappell and Ennis Jones) (20/11)